23 December 2008

Books I Wish I Had Written

Now here's a title for you:

Pantology; or, A Systematic Survey of Human Knowledge: Proposing a Classification of All Its Branches, and Illustrating Their History, Relations, Uses, and Objects: With a Synopsis of Their Leading Facts and Principles: And a Select Catalogue of Books on All Subjects, Suitable for a Cabinet Library.

I was planning to write my own systematic survey of human knowledge, but now that I see someone has beaten me to it, I don't see the point.

16 December 2008

Worst Ever?

Nothing very interesting in this piece from The Guardian:

The shoe attack on George Bush has added new urgency to a question that has been occupying American politicos for much of his second term. Has Bush been the worst US president ever? He was already challenging Richard Nixon for the title 18 months ago. His stock is now even lower. The Guardian's former US editor, Simon Tisdall, reckons Bush is possibly the worst in living memory.

The question is a source of increasing debate and blog chatter, as Bush's final day in office approaches – there are several blogs devoted to this subject alone, including The worst president ever and George W Bush is the worst president in US History. The footwear-throwing incident makes Bush a "shoe-in for worst president ever" a contributor quipped on the Huffington Post.

And it isn't just the usual-suspect bloggers and shoe-throwing journalists that rate Bush so poorly. In April, 61% of historians rated Bush the worst president ever.

Except, perhaps, for this ringing endorsement of the forty-third president:

The historians were accused of being "ax-grinding fools" by the conservative blogger Ross Douthat. He claims Bush is more likely to be forgotten than vilified by future historians.

With friends like these . . .

12 December 2008

'Tis the Season

A hearty thumbs-up to friend Frank, who catches Gretchen Carlson of Fox News generously volunteering to give the First Amendment a one-day vacation:

I'm all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th.

Before the Cock Crow Twice, Thou Shalt Deny Me Thrice

From Salon:

Don't blame me for Bush, I voted for, uh, the other guy

WASHINGTON -- There was a time, though admittedly it's hard to remember now, when George W. Bush was remarkably popular. So popular, in fact, that he easily won reelection four years ago, racking up what was the largest popular vote total for any presidential candidate until Barack Obama shattered it this year.

So it's a particularly amusing sign of how far the political climate has shifted that in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 33 percent of respondents admit to having voted for the guy twice, while 52 percent said they'd never voted for him at all. If that were actually true, of course, Bush would never have had the chance to run the country so firmly into the ground that people are now pretending they never liked him.

From Mark 14:
And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.